Pope: Like calves, bother your pastors so they give you the milk of grace, doctrine and guidance
Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - "Bother your pastors so that they give you the milk of grace, doctrine and guidance. I urge you once again: bother your pastors for the milk of doctrine and of grace", this was Pope Francis' recommendation to the more than 50 thousand pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the recitation of the Regina Caeli. His advise was inspired by the liturgy of the Fourth Sunday of Easter, traditionally called "Good Shepherd Sunday".
The pontiff invited everyone to pray "for the pastors of the Church, for all of the bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, and for all of the priests". He then went on to explain [in off the cuff remarks] "how the people of God help bishops and priests to be good shepherds" with a passage from St. Caesarius of Arles: "When the calf is hungry it goes to its mother, but the cow does not give her milk straight away, she almost keeps it for herself. The calf knocks with its nose at the cow's udder to obtain [milk].
So you have to knock on your pastors' door to obtain the milk of grace, of doctrine, of guidance". The Pope then repeated this concept: "bother your pastors so that they give you the milk of grace , doctrine and guidance".
The Pope then pointed out that "in imitation of Jesus, every pastor ' will sometimes go before his people, pointing the way and keeping their hope vibrant. At other times, he will simply be in their midst with his unassuming and merciful presence. At yet other times, he will have to walk after them, helping those who lag behind"( Ap. Ex. Evangelii gaudium, n. 31). May all pastors be like this".
Good Shepherd Sunday is also dedicated to prayer for vocations. And quoting his message for this year, he recalled that "every vocation always requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one's life on Christ and on his Gospel" (n. 2). For this reason, the call to follow Jesus is both exciting and challenging. Because you realize you must always enter into friendship with God in order to live in Him and for Him".
"Let us pray - he added - so that even in our time in which the voice of the Lord is in danger of being suffocated by so many voices, that all the baptized, families, parishes, movements assume the responsibility for promoting vocations with awareness and conviction".
After the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis greeted the various groups of pilgrims. These included "the Neocatechumenal Communities, who during these Sundays of Easter bring the proclamation of the risen Jesus to 100 squares across Rome and in many cities around the world. May the Lord grant you the joy of the Gospel! And keep going! You are really good!"
Concluding the Pope also had a special greeting and prayer for all mothers to mark Mother's Day in Italy and the US, by inviting everyone to recite a Hail Mary together.
Before the Marian Prayer, Pope Francis presided over Mass for the ordination of 13 new priests including 6 Italians, 4 from Latin America, one from Pakistan, one from South Korea and one from Vietnam. During his homily, the Pope urged the new priests to be witnesses to the mercy of Jesus: "Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation - he said - forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church. And here I want to stop and ask for love of Jesus Christ, never tire of being merciful! Please! Have the same capacity for forgiveness as the Lord, who did not come to condemn but to forgive! Have mercy, a lot of mercy! And if you are concerned about forgiving too much, think of that holy priest of whom I have spoken before, who went before the Tabernacle, saying : "Lord, forgive me if I have forgiven too much. But You set me a bad example". It 's so ... But I tell you , really, it makes me so much sad when I find people who no longer go to confession because they were brow beaten - badly - scolded; who felt that the church doors were closed in their face! Please do not do this: mercy, mercy! The good shepherd enters by the door and the door of mercy are the wounds of the Lord, if you do not enter into your ministry through the wounds of the Lord, you will not be good shepherds".